In response to the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the creation of the Produce Safety Alliance, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) voiced support for this new effort and its objectives.

“The objectives of this new initiative are in line with those of the LGMA,” said Jamie Strachan, a grower-shipper of leafy greens who chairs the LGMA Advisory Board. “We share a commitment with the Produce Safety Alliance to ensuring compliance with food safety practices on the farm and we believe this can best be accomplished through a strong collaboration between industry and government.”

“The LGMA program has been successfully implemented on California leafy greens farms for three years,” added Scott Horsfall, LGMA CEO. “During this time, the LGMA program has worked to provide regular and consistent audits of food safety practices on leafy greens farms. This has resulted in widespread compliance with accepted food safety practices and real penalties for those who fail to comply.”

Horsfall went on to note that the LGMA has expressed an interest in participating in the Produce Safety Alliance’s steering committee. According to the FDA, along with officials from the FDA, USDA and Cornell, the committee will be made up of “representatives from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), land grant universities, growers and shippers, produce trade organizations, and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.”

“Since its inception in 2007, the California LGMA has become a model for food safety programs in other states and for other commodities,” stated Strachan. “Its existence proves that the challenges of implementing a comprehensive food safety system can be overcome. The LGMA is looking forward to sharing our experiences with other growers and shippers through the Produce Safety Alliance.

For more information about the LGMA, please visit www.caleafygreens.ca.gov.